Belmont recognized Nashville Chief of Police and Belmont alumnus Steve Anderson during Saturday’s 2:30 p.m. spring commencement ceremony with an honorary Doctorate of Humanities degree. Honorary degrees have been presented by American colleges and universities since 1962 in recognition of meritorious humanitarian service, as well as scholarly and creative attainments. Belmont has bestowed this award selectively as the highest honor conferred by the University.
Chief Anderson graduated from Belmont in 1979 with a degree in criminal justice, went on to graduate from Nashville School of Law with a Doctor of Jurisprudence Degree, served in the United States Air Force and ultimately went on to serve the Nashville community as a public servant. A 40-year veteran of the Metro Nashville Police Department, Chief Anderson served in a number of roles prior to his 2010 appointment as Chief of Police. He was an administrative assistant to three former chiefs, led the Administrative Service Bureau, Investigative Service Bureau and Field Operations Bureau, served as a law instructor at the MNPD Training Academy and provided on-site legal advice to the SWAT Team.
Belmont President Dr. Bob Fisher said the University is proud of the impact Chief Anderson has made on the greater Nashville community and is honored to provide him with a second Belmont degree.
“The strong relationships Chief Anderson has built with neighborhood and communities, his commitment to protecting those who are threatened by domestic violence and his voice of reconciliation to people who feel disenfranchised are clear demonstrations of his remarkable concern for others,” Dr. Fisher said. “The high standard of professional excellence and emphasis on education in the Metro Police culture, along with the dramatic reduction of crime in Nashville, speak to the strong leadership Chief Anderson has provided within the department and the Nashville community.”
“I am sincerely humbled that the great school I attended as Belmont College in the 1970s, and from where I graduated 36 years ago while a police officer, has chosen to honor me at the 2015 spring commencement,” Chief Anderson said. “Just as Nashville and the police department have significantly grown and evolved over the past four decades, so, too, has Belmont. The education I received here helped prepare me for the constant challenges of a law enforcement career. I am proud to be a Belmont graduate, and I am proud of what this university means to Nashville.”
Chief Anderson’s contributions to Nashville are plentiful as he has overseen unprecedented growth in Metro’s police department, forged strong and lasting partnerships with key members of the community and significantly reduced the city’s crime statistics since beginning his position as Chief in 2010. Additionally, Chief Anderson has been honored with a number of awards including the Tennessee Association of Chiefs of Police (TCAP) President’s Award, TCAP’s Middle Tennessee Chief of the Year and the Statewide Voice for Victims Award during National Crime Victim’s Week.
While Music Row is well known for its production of albums, hit singles and award-winning collaborations, neighbors can expect to hear more sounds of theatrical scores as Belmont’s Ocean Way Nashville becomes the premiere spot for video game score production. Nashville is no longer home to just country music stars and frequent live shows – the video game scoring industry has taken a liking to Music City and with Ocean Way at the helm, the recordings and their awards continue to stack up.
Since its purchase by Belmont University in 2001, Ocean Way Nashville has become a leader in the music production industry, both locally and globally, and in recent years, the studio has produced a number of scores for popular games that have gone on to accumulate a number of national recognitions. At the 2014 GANG (Game Audio Network Guild) Awards, “The Last of Us,” a best-selling game with score composed by Gustavo Santaoello and recorded at Ocean Way, won Best Audio. In March 2014, the studio scored “Dragon Age Inquisition” by famed composer Trevor Morris, which went on to win the 2015 D.I.C.E. Awards Game of the Year.
Director of Belmont’s Ocean Way Studios Patrick McMakin said media music – music recorded for film, television, video games, etc. – is quickly becoming a large part of the music business and because of that, Ocean Way has opened its doors to a diverse set of projects. Through this diversification, McMakin said the studio has had the opportunity to learn skills and techniques that weren’t preciously part of their day to day. “It’s made us better, because the scores are fairly large in size, and we’re working with top level composers who work with orchestra all over the world. The knowledge they have brought in our doors has allowed us to improve every aspect of how we operate Studio A technically.”
Austin Williams, a junior theatre performance major, competed in last week’s “Price is Right” Spring Break Edition and took home more than $32,000 in prizes including trips to Las Vegas, Cancun and Spain, an Apple Macbook, iPad and iPhone and a Quadcoptor.
Williams is spending this semester in Los Angeles studying at Belmont West, a semester-long program where students reside in LA, study with local professionals and get access to some of the most exclusive internships in film, television and theatre. With West’s sister program, New York’s Belmont East, the University sends more than 25 students each semester to study in Nashville’s sister entertainment cities.
Williams said she and a few other Belmont West students were initially planning to attend “Whose Line Is It Anyway” as audience members when they learned of free tickets to the Spring Break Edition of “Price is Right.” Williams was the second contestant selected for the show, successfully bid on the Quadcoptor, won her game after identifying the price of an all-inclusive Cancun trip and spun an 85 on the big wheel, sending her to the Showcase Showdown.
In a recent U.S. News analysis that compared universities’ spending with the educational quality they offer, Belmont ranked No. 5 among its peers in the South region and was the highest ranked private University in that category, indicating the high efficiency of Belmont in providing excellent educational quality while keeping expenses low.
Belmont President Dr. Bob Fisher said, “This ranking is a huge deal to us because it reflects the overall Belmont strategy to provide a first-class education to our students while keeping our costs low. All credit for this accomplishment goes to the diligence of our faculty, staff and administration, who work extremely hard at their jobs and do their best to find effective—and economical—solutions to our campus’ needs.”
According to the website, U.S. News compared public and private colleges’ academic quality, as measured by their position in the 2015 Best Colleges rankings, to the funds spent to achieve that quality, and ranked the most efficient universities under that matrix. The publication noted, “Schools that are featured on these lists are doing a good job in managing their financial resources relative to other schools that may have far greater financial resources because of more state funding, higher tuition or larger endowments.”
As the leading media company and a top-ranked University, The Tennessean and Belmont University want to ensure that voters are well-informed on the issues facing Nashville and the positions of each candidate as they head to the polls in August.
Each debate will be free and open to the public, but tickets must be reserved in advance. The debates will also be streamed live via The Tennessean and Belmont University’s digital platforms.
Belmont President Dr. Bob Fisher said, “We have long said that being in Nashville is one of Belmont University’s finest assets, and this institution is committed to returning that benefit through engagement with, and service to, our city. Hosting these debates also connects well with our mission to provide students with significant real-world educational experiences, demonstrating first-hand how they can be change agents in our community and the broader world.”
The Tennessean’s President and Publisher Laura Hollingsworth said, “Nashvillians can count on The Tennessean to cover the details and the in-depth stories about the election, the candidates and their stances on the issues leading into the election.”